One 3-ft community nestbox for 20 hens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gladahmae, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. gladahmae

    gladahmae Songster

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    Benzie, MI
    I'm getting ready to overhaul my main coop, which I house around 20 layers in. I was originally planning on making a 3-hole version of Opa's roll-out nest box, but I'm wondering if one giant nest box would work just as well? My biggest concern is it being so large that they try to roost in it. I'm trying to make a materials list/cut list today.
     
  2. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    My Coop
    I have a 36" community nest box for 9 RIR's. If the nest box is lower than the roost by at least 12" they won't roost in there. My RONB Mk3 build thread.

    JT
     
    aart likes this.
  3. MinervaELS

    MinervaELS Songster

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    I think it will depend upon your chickens. Mine won't lay if there isn't some form of separation between them... they just sit and bicker with each other until they both run out. :rolleyes: Maybe design something with removable dividers, just in case you need them?
     
  4. sfgwife

    sfgwife Crowing

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    Our nest box is one open box for the same number of hens and they do fine. But. This is all ours have ever had.
     
  5. gladahmae

    gladahmae Songster

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    Benzie, MI
    My current old lady hens disagree. I have blocked off all but the very lowest nest box for them because they LOVE to roost and poop in the current nest boxes. They are all (except for maybe 1 or 2) getting culled at the end of the summer though, so hopefully the new birds will have better habits.

    If I have to, I can always tack in some curtains out of scrap cloth. Right now they will pile in 2 or 3 to a single box.


    Just sat down and sketched it out, and it looks like I can make the whole thing out of one sheet of plywood and one 8ft piece piece of 1x6. :yesss:
     
  6. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    My Coop
    Is it difficult for the old hens to get to the roost? Or is there a power struggle going on?

    JT
     
    cavemanrich likes this.
  7. gladahmae

    gladahmae Songster

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    Benzie, MI
    I'm pretty sure it's a combination of some really snotty top-ranking hens and some fearful bottom-of-the-order hens, and my roost bars being too close together. This is part of the reason I'm doing a coop overhaul. Now that we've had chickens for going-on-6 years I have figured out what I do and do not like about my current setup, and what's going to change.

    My 6 year old is scared of chickens (I have some fence-jumpers who will run right up to you as soon as you walk out of the house and it freaks him out), but desperately wants to collect eggs. I'm solving this problem by replacing our current nest boxes with a rollout (this will make things easier for our house-sitter also), and netting in the roof of the run. As much as I like that the girls will let themselves out to free-range, I sustained too many losses to predation last year, and we also seem to have developed an owl "problem." So. Lots of changes coming
     
    jthornton likes this.

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